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Old 01-15-2014, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Cheap pH meter by EtekCity - Any good?

I'm sure these questions are asked all the time, but I didn't see this particular model. Time to buy my pH meter.

Just hoping to get some feedback. The pH-2011 model from them is under $20, and it says it's accurate to .05. Is this true? Does it have a short life? Has anybody purchased this one before?

The Amazon reviews were good, just wanted to see what you guys thought of it.

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity%C2%AE...ywords=PH-2011

Thanks

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Old 01-15-2014, 04:18 PM   #2
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What does your instinct tell you (Hint: read the reviews)?

In the first place its resolution and accuracy (0.1) are insufficient for brewing. It is clear from the reviews that it is poorly made (but what do you expect for $13?). In the third place it is analogue. In the fourth place there is, apparently, only 1 calibration pot so that you cannot calibrate for slope and offset. In the fifth place there is no means for temperature compensation (automatic or manual). The English translation of the Chinese is entertaining, though.

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.

First of all: My instincts were telling me to be cautious. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. From what I've ready, this is way too inexpensive.

However, if you change the size to the "PH-2011" model, it does at ATC, resolution of .01, accuracy of .05 (not .1).

My budget is very limited. I have a hundred other things I also want to buy for my brewery, so cheaper the better.

All things considered, what is the most inexpensive model you would still recommend?

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
What does your instinct tell you (Hint: read the reviews)?

In the first place its resolution and accuracy (0.1) are insufficient for brewing. It is clear from the reviews that it is poorly made (but what do you expect for $13?). In the third place it is analogue. In the fourth place there is, apparently, only 1 calibration pot so that you cannot calibrate for slope and offset. In the fifth place there is no means for temperature compensation (automatic or manual). The English translation of the Chinese is entertaining, though.
That would be called precision Accuracy is how close to the real value it is. Or maybe that's what you were saying...
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:18 PM   #5
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That would be called precision Accuracy is how close to the real value it is. Or maybe that's what you were saying...
Yes, I got that. Resolution of .01 just means it reads 2 digits past decimal point (#.##). Accuracy is really what we're looking at. That's how far off it can be.

The link I have defaults to the ph-009. That one has accuracy of .1, but if you change the size to the ph-2011 version, it has an accuracy of .05.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kevincoenen View Post
Yes, I got that. Resolution of .01 just means it reads 2 digits past decimal point (#.##). Accuracy is really what we're looking at. That's how far off it can be.

The link I have defaults to the ph-009. That one has accuracy of .1, but if you change the size to the ph-2011 version, it has an accuracy of .05.
Gotcha! Didn't mean to be lecturing you. You actually made me want to buy the pH-2011 version since we have a pool and will need a pH meter eventually!
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kevincoenen View Post
.

First of all: My instincts were telling me to be cautious. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. From what I've ready, this is way too inexpensive.

However, if you change the size to the "PH-2011" model, it does at ATC, resolution of .01, accuracy of .05 (not .1).
0.05 pH isn't very impressive. It is in the context of a $20 meter, however. The question is what does accuracy of 0.05 mean. As there doesn't seem to be a standard here they have lots of wiggle room. If the meter is unstable it may read to 0.05 for only a couple of minutes before wandering off.

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My budget is very limited. I have a hundred other things I also want to buy for my brewery, so cheaper the better.
'The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.'

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Originally Posted by kevincoenen View Post
All things considered, what is the most inexpensive model you would still recommend?
Three months ago I would not have had an answer to that question. I am now, however, able to tentatively recommend the Hach PocketPro+ -tentatively beacuse, while its performance in laboratory tests is very good we don't have long term data on it as it is so new. How long does the electrode last, for example.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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'The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.'
Love that quote. I'll see is SWMBO agrees

No, I know, I definitely need to get a better one. I'm not getting the one mentioned. I may have to wait and spend the money though. For now I'll use some calculators and start using some minerals/lactic acid to at least get an estimated pH. I guess estimating is still better than nothing. I'm just getting started with AG (3 batches in), so I've got a TON of other things I want to buy- sight glasses, thermometers, go electric, etc. Water chemistry, I understand, is one of the last things I should be worried about when starting AG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Three months ago I would not have had an answer to that question. I am now, however, able to tentatively recommend the Hach PocketPro+ -tentatively beacuse, while its performance in laboratory tests is very good we don't have long term data on it as it is so new. How long does the electrode last, for example.
That one still looks out of my price range. Over $100 for just the meter.

After more research, I'm sort of down to 2.
1) Milwaukee MW-101- seems to have good reviews. Sells for $75. With solutions probably talking $100 total.
2) Omega PHH-7011- Don't see much for reviews. The few I've read sound promising. It's $99 for the whole bundle, with carrying case and solutions.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kevincoenen View Post
That one still looks out of my price range. Over $100 for just the meter.

After more research, I'm sort of down to 2.
1) Milwaukee MW-101- seems to have good reviews. Sells for $75. With solutions probably talking $100 total.
2) Omega PHH-7011- Don't see much for reviews. The few I've read sound promising. It's $99 for the whole bundle, with carrying case and solutions.
The problem with the Milwaukee is that you take a chance. If you get one of the good ones you will be OK. If you don't you have wasted your money. Judging by the reviews I have seen the chances of getting a good one are about 50%. This means the expected value of the meter is $37.50 and you are paying twice that for it.

I don't know anything about the Omega but I believe it is a new offering. I'd reason that if Hach can come up with an advanced technology meter (stable, reliable) that Omega can too and hope that the Hach and Omega offerings represent a new standard of performance for ca. $100 meters. It is digital (and thus has ATC) and the data sheet hints that it displays calibration data (which is a big plus) and has a mV mode (which can be a big plus). It looks as if it is a much better deal that the Milwaukee and I would hope, therfore, that you would give the Omega a shot, do the stability checks on it and post the results here.

I'm a long way from the days when $35 was an appreciable amount of money (but I had a long run where it was, believe me) but I'll often say brew an extra 7 extra pints of beer using the new piece of equipment and drink those at home instead of buying them in your favorite pub. This is, in my distorted way of thinking, sort of earning the $35. You are getting paid for brewing! See if you can sell that to SWMBO.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:54 PM   #10
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AJ, I'm still waiting on someone to tell me that they have had problems with the MW-101. I've heard plenty of stories about other Milwaukee pH meters, particularly the consolidated meters, but not the units with the separate meter and probe configuration.

Since I deal with the wastewater industry, I know that having a double junction style pH probe is critical for extending the probe's life. The MW-101 is so equipped. In addition, it is a gel filled unit that apparently improves its longevity.

Be careful in recommending Omega. They often just re-badge other manufacturer's equipment for their low-end equipment. As AJ says, you generally get what you pay for.

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